A partnership to fight hunger

The Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP) was launched by the G20 countries in 2010 in response to the 2008-09 food price crisis to increase both public and private investment in agriculture. An overview of the programme's approach, results and impact.



The Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP) was launched in 2010 by the G20, in response to the 2008-09 food price crisis, to increase both public and private investments in agriculture.

What is GAFSP?

The Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP) was launched 2010 in response to the 2007-08 food price crisis to offer increased investment in agriculture and food security in low-income countries.


GAFSP is a demand-led and recipient-owned global partnership and a cost-effective and flexible multilateral financing mechanism dedicated to fighting hunger, malnutrition, and poverty. This key global financing vehicle  pools donor resources and offers a range of public and private investment tools including grants, concessional loans, blended finance, technical assistance, and advisory services to support smallholder farmers and businesses to recover and grow in the medium to long term. . The Program’s unique model embodies the core principles of aid effectiveness – it is a flexible financing mechanism that channels well-targeted, additional funding through existing multilateral agencies to where it can be most effective.


Ending hunger in a world of changing climate is maybe one of the greatest challenges we will face in the 21st century. GAFSP comes with the tools, the flexibility and the expertise we need to do just that.

  - Dr Gerd Müller, German Federal Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development


In the face of overlapping challenges - including climate change, conflict, and now Covid-19 – achieving the SDGs without a strategic, concerted investment in agricultural development will hardly be possible. GAFSP’s mandate to improve food security for the most vulnerable is as urgent today as it was a decade ago.


How GAFSP will help build back better

GAFSP is designed to be flexible, adaptive, and comprehensive in stimulating farm and non-farm entrepreneurial activity and rural livelihoods and is well placed to respond directly to the potential economic damage predicted from COVID-19.  GAFSP pools donor funds and effectively targets this funding to competitively selected projects that are designed by countries and participants themselves. GAFSP funding can support virtually any type of agricultural intervention, as long as it is part of a country’s strategic development plans and it is not humanitarian aid.  Countries and participants also work with the implementing agency partners of their choice.


GAFSP builds on and works in collaboration with all of our implementing partners –including the regional development Banks, the Rome-based agencies and the World Bank Group– to support the most impactful projects. GAFSP will work to support and leverage their efforts to address the pandemic and its longer-term impact in our target countries.


In the medium term, GAFSP is directing investment towards recovery and resilience, to help mitigate the severity of income, food and nutrition security impacts of COVID-19. GAFSP is ready to launch a new call for proposals focused on COVID-19 response. Such a call would focus on the low-income countries worst hit by COVID-19 and on the SMEs and Producer Organizations that are most effected, and which play such a crucial role in food supply in low-income countries.


GAFSP’s work over the last 10 years has focused on 5 essential pillars that are key in recovery and resilience efforts:

  • Raising agricultural productivity
  • Linking farmers to markets
  • Reducing risk and vulnerability
  • Improving non-farm rural livelihoods
  • Technical Assistance, Institution-Building, and Capacity Development


GAFSP proven track record in these areas

48 countries supported globally with projects in Africa (63%); South Asia (14%); East Asia and Pacific (11%); Latin America & the Caribbean (8%); Central Asia and Eastern Europe, Middle East & North Africa (4%).


Grant Financing

  • $1.6 billion in grant funding
  • 13.4 million people benefited
  • 1.2 million people received nutrition services
    $252 million in income generated per year for farmers


Private Sector Financing

  • $330 million in agribusiness/agri-finance investment projects
  • $30.4 million in advisory assistance


The Missing Middle Initiative (MMI) is a pilot program launched in 2016 to channel grant funding specifically to cooperatives, producer organizations, and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that are often by-passed by development assistance. The MMI promotes partnerships between producer organizations active in agriculture value chains and more commercial private sector actors.  It responds to the needs of the producer organizations and their partners, as projects are conceived directly by them following a bottom-up approach. To date, GAFSP has invested US$13.2 million in grants to five projects that not only address challenges in access to markets and finance, and technology and innovation inputs but also build producer organizations’ capacity for market-led partnership.


© Ursula Meissner, GIZ
© Ursula Meissner, GIZ

GAFSP's approach

GAFSP is designed to be flexible, adaptive, and comprehensive – recipient partners can use the funds to support virtually any type of agricultural intervention that is part of their strategic development plans. . GAFSP allows funding of public and private actors along the entire agriculture value chain from farm to table.


GAFSP does not implement projects, rather it channels its investments through established multilateral development agencies that have the necessary expertise and proven sectoral experience to guide projects to success.


GAFSP supports projects through three financing instruments:

  • Grants to Countries

GAFSP provides grants to low-income country governments in support of national agricultural and food security investment plans developed in participation with their own farmers, agribusinesses, technical experts, and civil society organizations.

  • Private Sector Financing

GAFSP uses blended finance solutions to support projects designed to improve the livelihood of smallholder farmers living in the world’s poorest countries.

  • Small-scale Grants to Producer Organizations

To reach smallholder farmers more directly, the Missing Middle Initiative (MMI) pilot focuses on producer organizations, civil society organizations, and small and medium enterprises.


Click here for more information about GAFSP’s country programs.


What are GAFSP's results?

GAFSP has a robust portfolio of active projects in 47 low income countries. To date, the Program has helped improve the incomes and food security of 13.4  million smallholder farmers and their families, with its $1.6 billion in grant funding to low-income countries, $330 million in private sector agribusiness or agri-finance investment projects, and $13.2 million to support producer organizations.  GASFP investments also directly address climate change through mitigation and adaptation technologies.


Through ten years of GAFSP :

  • 4 million smallholder farmers and their families have benefited from GAFSP funded projects
  • 6 million women have received agricultural support
  • 2 million people have people have improved nutrition through increased access to nutritious food and dietary diversity
  • US$252 million in improved incomes has been generated for farmers each year
  • 70 percent of public sector funds (US$787million) and about 65 percent of projects have elements that contribute to climate change co-benefits, either through adaptive or mitigative climate-sensitive interventions,
  • 62 percent of projects are creating economic opportunities through both on- and off- farm jobs
  • 97 percent of GAFSP public investment projects contribute to the development of rural infrastructure
  • On 200,000 hectares of arable land, new agricultural technologies were adopted


GAFSP provides a huge opportunity to catalyze government and other private sector resources in pushing countries’ own path to agricultural transformation.

 - Agnes Kalibata, President, Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) and  Special Envoy of the UN Secretary General to the 2021 Food Systems Summit


How will the replenishment drive impact?

Effective investment in smallholder farmers — especially women — who produce 80 percent of the world’s food is the linchpin to achieving SDG2. With 10 years to go, investment in agriculture can play a critical role in achieving all 17 SDGs, not least because economic growth in agriculture is two to four times more effective in reducing poverty as growth generated in non-agriculture sectors.


Building on a decade of experience, replenishment will enable GAFSP to help catalyze a global resurgence on SDG2. GAFSP requires US$1.5 billion for the five years between 2020 and 2025 to incentivize the system change that is urgently needed. This investment is expected to:

  • Support efforts by at least 30 countries to build sustainable and resilient food systems
  • Deliver a 20 percent increase in income for an additional 10 million farmers; with this income increase, GAFSP expects a similar change in food security status of those households
  • Deliver a 25 percent increase in yield for an additional 10 million farmers
  • Create 1.1 million on- and off-farm jobs
  • Support all new projects to include climate mitigation and adaptation initiatives


Given its successful replenishment, GAFSP can continue to be a key global vehicle for catalytic public and private sector investments in agriculture and food security that support SDG2 (Zero Hunger) and related SDGs on poverty, climate change, health, education, gender equity, fragility, and job creation.


GAFSP is unique in that it takes an inclusive approach to governance, in which countries, civil society, the private sector, and donors all play key roles. Together, all partners understand that investing in farmers and their communities is the only solution to ending hunger and poverty

  - Ibrahima Coulibaly, President of Agricultural Producers’ Organizations of West Africa (ROPPA)

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